Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Victim Support Group Blasts New Paterno Statue

On Wednesday, we broke the news that a new Joe Paterno statue was coming to downtown State College by Fall 2015 outside of the Tavern restaurant. Inevitably, this set the Internet off into a frenzy of opinions on the nationally controversial and tragically complex former coach.

Most Penn Staters, of course, were wholly supportive of the new statue honoring one of our university’s most important and beloved figures (although some did recommend better uses for the $300,000).

“There’s a culture of people in State College that clearly appreciates what Joe has done,” organizer Ted Sebastianelli said. “Our alumni always want to know how we will honor him. This is something we can do for State College while getting Penn Staters from around the country involved. This has nothing to do with university. We are doing this on our own.”

However, others outside of State College were not so favorable to the future bronze memorial, especially after national outlets like the New York Daily News, Washington Post, and Sports Center picked up the story (our Twitter account alone received no less than 300 “Will he be looking the other way” or “Will his eyes be closed” knee-slappers on Wednesday).

One sexual abuse victim support group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), took their disapproval to an official capacity, and released a pointed statement denouncing the new statue.

“It breaks our hearts to see Penn State alums acting so irresponsibly by erecting a privately-funded new statue to Joe Paterno,” wrote Outreach Director Barbara Dorris. “Penn State officials should denounce this callous move.”

She continued:

“Paterno was not the most egregious wrongdoer in the Jerry Sandusky horror. But it’s clear that, at best, he should have done more and at worst, he was a part of a school bureaucracy that turned a blind eye to suspicions about Sandusky’s crimes.

“This hurtful decision will deter victims, witnesses and whistleblowers in child sex cases from protecting kids by reporting abuse, by reinforcing their often-justified pessimism that adult wrongdoers matter more than wounded kids and their fear that even if they speak up, powerful and popular grownups will usually escape being exposed or punished for ignoring or concealing child sex crimes.

“It will further victimize those already victimized – at Penn State and elsewhere – by child molesters, by showing them that many adults are willing to ignore or minimize their pain and honor a wrongdoer so they can feel good about a football team.

“A doctor’s first job is to “do no harm.” In child sex cases, that’s the job of every caring adult. These alums are, in fact, doing harm. They should know better.

“Those who donated are putting the reputation of a deceased wrongdoer ahead of the healing of child rape victims. They are doing precisely what hundreds of Catholic officials and other complicit church staff have done for decades: putting more value on the reputation of an institution than on the safety of kids and the healing of victims.”

Frank Fina, the state prosecutor that investigated Jerry Sandusky and helped put him behind bars, has previously said that Joe Paterno did not participate in any malicious wrongdoing as it relates to the Jerry Sandusky case.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

State College To Host Pride Weekend Events Beginning June 9

Downtown State College will host its annual Pride Parade at 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 10.

Things More Common Than Mega Barnwell Leaving Penn State Football Twice

Drew Allar being underhyped? Perhaps that’s more common than Mega Barnwell leaving Penn State football twice.

Tight End Mega Barnwell No Longer With Penn State Football

The team confirmed Monday that Barnwell was no longer on the roster.

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters